If you have a Monstera, you probably spend a lot of time watering it, but have you ever wondered whether you actually need to do this? Some plants can last through periods of drought amazingly well.
How long a Monstera can go without water depends a little on the size of the plant and its environment, but most Monsteras can survive for about a month without being watered, and some will live for even longer than this. Some people find their Monstera can be revived even after two months without water.
How Long Can A Monstera Survive Without Water?
Monsteras are rainforest plants, and in general, they like quite a damp environment – as you will be aware if you take the time to humidify your plant. However, most Monsteras will survive surprisingly well in dry conditions, and will not keel over the minute you stop watering them.
Young and small Monstera plants tend to be more sensitive to being under-watered because they don’t have a strong, established root network with which to draw up water from all parts of the container – but even these will last for a couple of weeks or more without water.
A mature Monstera should manage for around 4 weeks without being watered, as long as it is healthy. If you need to go away for a week or two, you don’t have to worry about your Monstera dying while you are gone.
What Should I Do If I Forgot To Water My Monstera?
If you have forgotten to water your Monstera and it has dried out a lot, you should place your plant in the sink or the bath and run in several inches of water so that it is standing in it. Pour water into the top of the container as well, so that the soil ends up thoroughly saturated.
Leave it there for 10 minutes or so, and then drain the water away and let the plant dry out. This will have soaked the roots and helped them to rehydrate so that they can take up water effectively again. The roots will soon transfer this water to the rest of the plant, rehydrating the leaves and helping the plant to recover.
Keep the plant well watered in the following weeks. Although your Monstera does need to dry out occasionally to reduce the risk of root rot, it will not like being stressed by drought a second time, so stay on top of watering it. You should give it a drink when the soil has dried to about an inch down from the surface.
If any foliage has died due to dehydration, use some sterile shears to remove it.
What Should I Do Before Going On Vacation?
Before you are going away, there are a few steps you can take to maximize your plant’s chances of staying hydrated while you are going.
Firstly, soak the plant – as described above. Stand it in a sink or bucket of water for up to 10 minutes to ensure that the soil is wet through, and then drain off the excess water and return it to its usual position.
Secondly, make sure that your Monstera is not too close to a window. Having too much sun and warm weather will dry the soil out more quickly, so if you can move your plant to a more temperate spot, do so.
Many people put their Monsteras in the bathroom before traveling, as this is a cool spot that may also have some residual moisture in the air.
How Often Do Monsteras Like Being Watered?
Most Monsteras like to be watered about once a week or every two weeks, although this depends on the climate to a degree. In warm weather, your plant will need watering more frequently, while it will manage for a couple of weeks in cooler weather.
The best way to tell if your plant needs a drink is to check the soil. It should be dry to around one or two inches down before you water it. Push the tip of your finger into the surface of the soil and check whether it is still damp.
If it is still damp, wait before adding more water. Your plant will get root rot if you give it too much to drink, and this will kill it.
You can also tell if a Monstera is thirsty by looking at whether its foliage is starting to turn limp and droopy.
Will My Monstera Recover From Being Dried Out?
Whether your Monstera will recover when it hasn’t been watered enough will depend on how dried out it got. If your Monstera is actually dead, it will not recover, no matter how much you water it.
However, if your Monstera is just a little dry, it should perk up quickly as soon as it has fresh water. If it is somewhere in between, you should thoroughly soak it and give it plenty of time to show signs of life.
If your plant is still alive, the chances of it finding and using the moisture are high. It will gradually perk up again as its roots swell and take in moisture, supplying it to the rest of the plant. It may take weeks or even months for your Monstera to recover, and you might have to cut away the dead foliage.
This will encourage your plant to focus on new, healthy growth, rather than trying to revive dead leaves. Identify any foliage that has shriveled, and use sterile shears to cut it off at the bottom of its stem.
Even if you think your plant is dead, it’s worth watering it and waiting for a few weeks. It is possible that your Monstera will come back from the rootstock even if all of its foliage has died. Remove dead growth and wait patiently to see if new growth appears.
If you can’t tell whether a plant is dead or not, consider digging up the roots. If you find that they are brittle and dry, the plant has died. If the roots are still flexible, there’s a chance of recovery.
A healthy, mature Monstera should be able to cope for up to 4 weeks without water. If you are going away, make sure you water your plant thoroughly before you leave, and prioritize watering it when you return – but it will probably be fine, as long as you aren’t gone for longer than a month.